Forsyth Technical Community College today announced that it has joined Achieving the Dream (ATD), a network of more than 220 colleges in 43 states dedicated to improving student success. As a Network institution, Forsyth Tech will innovate to implement, align, and scale cutting edge reforms, work with ATD coaches to build institutional capacity and connect with peers to foster learning and share information.
“We are honored and excited to have been accepted into the ATD network,” said Forsyth Tech President, Janet N. Spriggs. “With Forsyth Tech’s vision to improve equitable economic mobility in the community, this partnership is a great opportunity to for us to improve inequities within the college to increase student completion and increase social and economic mobility for all students.”
“The strength of local and regional economies, our ability to rebuild the middle class, and the possibility that a new generation will achieve their goals depends on community colleges,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “Colleges that join the ATD Network show an exceptional commitment to becoming the kind of institution that will lead the nation into the future.”
ATD offers a capacity-building framework and companion self-assessment that allow colleges to pinpoint strengths and areas for improvement across seven institutional capacities in areas such as leadership and vision, teaching and learning, and data and technology. ATD’s approach integrates and aligns existing college success efforts and offers valuable support in preparing for accreditation, fostering conversation about goals, and making bold, holistic institution-wide changes because initiatives that don’t reach most of a college’s student body have not shown strong results.
A team from Forsyth Tech will meet with leaders from 15 other colleges in Phoenix, Arizona in June to plan the launch of their ATD work. The work at Forsyth Tech will initially focus on identifying systemic inequities and building institutional advising systems and holistic support networks to create sustainable and transformative change.
ATD Network colleges report data using metrics that answer critical questions about who attends college, who succeeds in and after college and how college is financed. To advance goals of social mobility and equity, the metrics provide information on how low income and other underserved students fare. These metrics are categorized into performance metrics, efficiency metrics and equity metrics at points during the student experience from access through post-college outcomes.
As colleges in the new cohort progress, they may apply to participate in initiatives supported by philanthropic funding and managed by ATD. These initiatives help incubate new ideas that help colleges refine practices based on evidence of what works and allow ATD to disseminate knowledge to the broader network and the field. New initiatives address the challenge of engaging adjunct faculty more deeply as key members of colleges’ workforces and implementing degree programs using only open educational resources (OER).
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Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 200 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress closing academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with more than 100 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 43 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students.